Oregon State's agricultural research facility near Aurora will offer tours during the summer months

JOHN BAKER - The Oregon State University research facility in Aurora is offering tours this summer. Beginning in late June, the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) is offering tours of their experimental farm near Aurora.

The tours will be the last Friday of each month from June through September. All tours run from 2 to 4 p.m. and are open to anyone. The tours are free.

The purpose of the program is to share the work at NWREC with anyone interested in agriculture, farming, and food production in the region. Call the Center at 503-678-1264 to let the office know you will be coming out.

"We want to share the important work we do at the Center with the public," said Mike Bondi, NWREC director. "We all depend on the agriculture sector to provide our food and fiber — plus the bounty of plants for our landscapes and gardens. Farming is a key part of our economy in the area, too. We want everyone to know more about these industries and the work we do, at NWREC, to support them." JOHN BAKER - In addition to tours of the NWREC facility, preparations are underway for the annual open house in July.

Bondi says there is more and more interest by the public in food, how it is grown, and what is happening with agriculture in the region. The North Willamette Research and Extension Center is one of 12 research farms Oregon State University operates in the state—but, the only one serving the needs of farmers in the Willamette Valley.

Larger groups (more than a 12-15) can be accommodated for tours, too. Larger groups should contact NWREC to schedule your group at a convenient time.

Summer is a great time to see activities at NWREC. Visitors will learn about the research at the Center for the nursery industry, berry farmers, Christmas tree growers, fresh vegetable farmers, hazelnut growers, and smaller acreage growers. The monthly tours will travel the entire 160 acre farm property and stop to visit with researchers and farm staff, where possible, to see close up and hear about their work.

Tour dates at the NWREC are June 30, July 28, Aug. 25, and Sept. 29. Tours begin in the main parking lot at 2 p.m.

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